Anticipation of future notifications to EFSA of microbial taxonomic units intentionally introduced into the food chain
EFSA requested the preparation and prioritisation of a list of microorganism species likely to be notified to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in the future in the regulatory context of food and feed additives, food enzymes and food flavourings by consulting the following EFSA scientific Units (Food Ingredients and Packaging (FIP), FEED, Genetically Modified Microorganisms (GMO), Pesticides). This list is intended to be considered for the annual updates and reviews of the Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) recommended list of biological agents. EFSA’s QPS assessment has entered EU law only recently with the publication of a new Commission Implementing Regulation No 562/2012 regarding specific data required for risk assessment of food enzymes having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 establishing a common authorising procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings and to the EFSA guidance on data requirements for the evaluation of food enzyme applications. An EFSA internal working group (WG) prepared a list of microorganism species that maybe likely to be notified to EFSA in the near future based on available information relevant in the legal framework. A high number of application dossiers for risk assessment of enzymes are expected to be submitted until March 2015 in the context of enzyme safety evaluation to the FIP Unit and Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) Panel. It is therefore recommended to consider the list as soon as possible by the annual QPS WG of the Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) Panel to avoid where possible any unnecessary toxicity testing for taxonomic units which would potentially receive a QPS recommendation.